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killed in newtown, connecticut, an event so gruesome it has already forced a change in this nation's gun policy. as we first reported here last night, today president obama came out with his proposals for the most sweeping gun control measures in many years. the national rifle association launched a preemptive strike against it. it involved the president's family, in part. but this time they may have some formidable opposition to their position. it's where we begin our reporting tonight with our chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. chuck, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. this was no ordinary policy rollout. we have seen the president do this on a number of issues. this one was filled with an emotional plea, if you will. in fact, the president spent more time trying to drum up support for a campaign using emotion than he did talking about his actual plans themselves. an emotional president obama unveiled his plan in front of an audience that included parents of newtown victims.
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>> she dreamed of becoming a painter. chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings. and i hung it in my private study. and every time i look at that painting, i think about how when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. for grace. >> the president outlined four major points. each one evoked memories of past mass shootings. >> we will make sure mental health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence. >> reporter: this action makes it easier to share mental health records with authorities, a move that could have identified seung-hui cho as a threat before the virginia tech massacre. >> congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons and a ten-round limit for magazines. >> reporter: the previous ban expired in 2004. the gun used in newtown, connecticut is the kind that would be banned. he wants a limit on ammunition that could have reduced the number killed in aurora, colorado.
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>> if you want to buy a gun, you should at least have to show you are not a felon or somebody legally prohibited from buying one. >> reporter: it would tighten background checks, which could have helped prevent guns from getting into the hands of the columbine shooters. the president proposed clearing the way for schools who want armed guards to get them. but while he called for a study of violent video games, he made no mention of television or motion pictures. republicans responded negatively, including florida senator marco rubio, who issued a statement that said, in part, president obama is again using his power by imposing his policies via executive fiat. mr. obama pleaded with americans to confront congress directly. >> ask them what's more important. doing whatever it takes to get a "a" grade from the gun lobby or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade. >> reporter: he even show cased children who have written him since newtown. >> she said, "i know that laws
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have to be passed by congress, but i beg you to try very hard." [ light laughter ] julie, i will try very hard. >> reporter: chuck todd, nbc news, the white house. this is john yang in chicago where residents deal with gun violence virtually every day. last year, there were more than 510 murders, more than the number of u.s. troops killed in afghanistan. 86% of the homicides involved a gun. in one chicago interview, nothing president obama did would change that. >> i believe chicago already has very strict gun laws and we have, like, one of the highest crime rates in the country. so how is this going to solve anything? >> reporter: the national gun debate was reignited last month by adam lanza's shooting rampage in newtown, connecticut where the mother of 6-year-old victim noah pozner wants a balanced approach on guns. >> people who want to own firearms responsibly have
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nothing to fear. they should welcome it. because that way guns won't be given a bad name. they'll -- they may have a place in society. but they have a place in the right hands, not in the wrong hands. >> thank you. >> reporter: after mr. obama spoke, there were other voices. in las vegas. >> i think as citizens we should be very concerned about our rights. >> reporter: and on twitter. "we must do something to protect our kids." "let's be honest. criminals who want guns will get guns." a recent pew research center poll found overwhelming support for closing the so-called gun show loophole, requiring background checks for all gun purchases. fewer americans favored banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. back in chicago, some residents are happy to see the president taking action. >> i think they should have come out and done something a long time ago. >> it's just really a tough war. it just really is. >> reporter: whatever the answer, it cannot come soon enough for chicago.
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last night, the 15th night of 2013, saw chicago's 25th homicide. all but four of them by gunshot. brian? >> john yang in chicago. chuck todd before that starting us off from the white house. thank you both. as we heard, the national rifle association came out with a video attacking the white house gun proposals this morning. and they're taking heat tonight for using the president's daughters as part of their argument. that part of this story tonight from nbc's andrea mitchell. >> reporter: they've long been the most feared lobbyists in washington, spending millions to defeat gun laws and candidates they oppose. >> i want to say those fighting words. from my cold, dead hands! [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: even as america was shaken by the horror of newtown, the nra escalated its rhetoric, claiming to add more than 100,000 new members, and taking a no-compromise stand. >> the only thing that stops a
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bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> reporter: but did the nra go too far with this new web video today, focusing on the president's school-age daughters? >> are the president's kids more important than yours? then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? >> children of presidents have been off-limits for decades. there has been an understanding that we don't talk -- particularly about the minor children of presidents. >> nobody was talking about his children. nobody was doing that. >> reporter: in the aftermath of newtown, the nra is raising money, e-mailing supporters to upgrade their membership for what it calls the fight of the century. the e-mail says, "barack obama, joe biden and their gun ban allies in congress only want to blame you, bully you, vilify you and strip you of your second amendment freedoms." are they trying to scare gun owners? >> we're not trying to scare them.
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we're not saying your rights are at risk. the president of the united states is saying that. >> reporter: joe scarborough of "morning joe" had an a-rating from the nra when he was in congress. >> the more the nra speaks out after the slaughter of these 20 first graders, the worse they make it for their side. >> reporter: so far, a majority of the house still has a-ratings for their votes from the gun lobby. >> it has clout, because it had members in every state and almost every congressional district and because it's built up a reputation of effectiveness. >> reporter: the question now is whether that will change after the massacre at sandy hook elementary. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. there is breaking news in the air tonight. and it's bad news for boeing. after a slew of problems, the faa has ordered all the new 787 dreamliners grounded for the time being. tom costello covers aviation for us. he's in our washington newsroom tonight with this still-developing story. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian.
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this action essentially ground all 787s around the world, because other governments generally follow the faa's lead. the faa's emergency air-worthiness directive says before any other 787 can fly, the operator on the boeing must prove the batteries are safe. on the runway in western japan, an evacuation after the captain of a 787 got a warning light and thought he smelled something burning. the incident comes just a week after the fire in the belly of another 787 in boston. now investigators are taking a hard look at the 787's electrical system and lithium batteries. >> we've had two incidents involving batteries, involving charging circuits, that are under question that have resulted in one case a fire, one case of smoke. >> reporter: today's problem was located near the lithium batteries in the forward bay, underneath the flight deck. behind the nose. last week's fire was behind the
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wings in the 787's aft electrical bay. the lithium batteries there that run the auxiliary power unit were severely burned and charred. lithium batteries like those used in computers have been known to overheat and catch fire. after a series of in-flight fires, including the crash of a u.p.s. plane in dubai, the faa prohibited lithium batteries as cargo in passenger planes. but the faa allowed them as a component in the 787 to help power the plane, but only in protective housings that can withstand intense heat. last week, as the faa announced a complete review of the 787, boeing reiterated, the plane is safe. >> we have complete confidence in the 787. and so do our customers. >> reporter: in the u.s., only united flies the 787. six planes in all. that now must undergo a thorough inspection, as boeing must demonstrate that its batteries are safe. both ntsb and faa investigators are tonight on their way to japan. boeing says it is cooperating
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with this investigation. brian? >> tom costello in our dc newsroom tonight. tom, thanks. a scary early-morning tragedy in central london today that could have been much worse. two people were killed when a helicopter collided with a construction crane atop a tall building. there's a report the chopper pilot had requested to put down because the weather had closed in. the crash ignited a large fire in the busy vauxhall neighborhood. the pilot was killed along with one person on the ground. nine were injured. all of it has londoners watched the scene unfold on live morning television. now to another big and still-developing story tonight. american citizens among perhaps dozens of people taken hostage by islamic militants in algeria in northern africa. it's right next door to mali where not coincidentally, french war planes have been pounding militants there for days. tonight, the u.s. state department has strongly condemned this hostage-taking,
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calling it a terrorist attack. nbc is the only network on the ground tonight near the heart of this new war in mali. rohit, good evening. >> reporter: brian, algerian officials say that the hostages were taken by heavily armed islamic militants linked to al qaeda, and they were responding to the military operation by the french here in mali, supported by american cargo aircraft, spy planes and drones. the attack took place at dawn as a natural gas facility jointly operated by bp, the norwegian company stat oil and the algerian government is located in the remote sahara desert in eastern algeria, near the libyan border. militants reportedly approached the facility in three unmarked vehicles. their attack left at least two dead, including a british national. they took at least 20, and perhaps more than 40 people hostage.
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at least three americans, 13 norwegians and others from britain, ireland, canada, japan and france. reportedly leading the attack, former al qaeda commander, mokhtar belmokhtar, who always before promised retaliation for france's military action in neighboring mali. for days, french fighter jets have pounded islamic militants in mali with american drones providing intelligence. france has also sent hundreds of troops with hundreds more on the way. they will be joined by troops from neighboring african countries. the militants have warned that france's intervention here will come at a very high price. they say that by landing here, they have opened the gates of hell, a warning perhaps not only to france, but to all western interests here in africa. the militants already control northern mali, an area the size of france itself. france wants to stop them from taking the rest of the country.
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and creating a base for terrorist attacks against the west. and brian, the military action here in mali, the french, the u.s. and others, has triggered the hostage situation in algeria. algerian forces have reportedly surrounded the facility where the hostages have been held. and they're warning they won't be negotiating with the militants. brian? >> nbc's rohit kachroo on the ground for us in mali tonight. thanks, rohit. and still ahead, as we continue this evening. health news tonight on two big fronts. is the flu vaccine safe during pregnancy? plus news about the risk of migraines for women. and later, making a difference by helping a lot of kids get back to doing what they love.
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in health news tonight, an answer for pregnant women who have been asking if there is any risk in getting a flu shot this year with the flu so far having spread to 47 states. in fact, there's new research that shows the most dangerous
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course of action is not getting the flu shot. a story from our chief science correspondent, robert bazell. >> reporter: today's study addresses two of the biggest concerns about the flu vaccine and pregnancy. the conclusion, the vaccine is safe, both for pregnant women and their unborn children. >> by getting an influenza vaccine, mothers are not only protecting themselves, but they're protecting the baby too. >> reporter: valerie isabelle was born quite healthy on tuesday. her mother, layla, got a flu shot back in october. >> i got it before the flu season started, when i was a little shy of seven months. >> reporter: this study, the largest to date, looked at more than 117,000 pregnancies in norway, which has free health care and keeps excellent medical records. the study found that women who contracted the flu while pregnant had almost twice the chance of a miscarriage. but even as they got the flu, after getting vaccinated, the chance of miscarriage still went down. and most important, it showed the flu shot itself did not
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increase the chance of miscarriage or put the baby at risk. for the babies whose moms got the vaccine, there is no indication of any bad health effects. no increase in prematurity, no decrease in birth weights. and no changes in the score the doctors use to assess the health of newborns. >> is the baby moving well? >> reporter: for years, doctors have known that pregnant women have five times the risk of nonpregnant women for flu complications. that's because pregnancy weakens the immune system. >> there was never much doubt that the influenza vaccine is indicated for pregnant women. >> reporter: and this latest study shows how beneficial and safe it is for their babies, too. [ crying ] >> reporter: robert bazell, nbc news, new york. and as we mentioned there's also news on migraines tonight. a new study shows for women, a severe form of migraine that's accompanied by what's called aura, is the second biggest predictor of heart attack and stroke behind high blood pressure. aura are visual disturbances, including some that look like
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flashing lights that can accompany migraines. in fact, this type of headache served as a better predictor of a future heart attack than diabetes or heart disease. we're back in a moment with the loss of one of television's most beloved dads.
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conrad bain has died. he's universally being remembered today as the easy-going tv star who played the adoptive father to todd bridges and the late gary coleman on "diff'rent strokes." the show aired for six seasons here on nbc. bain perfected the character of the kindly, wealthy widower. he was a stage and film veteran who also starred in the tv series "maude", canadian army veteran in world war ii. conrad bain was 89 years old. heart warming story out of colorado. a hunter identified as a 60-year-old man fell through a sheet of ice and was guarded by his dog for 30 minutes before he could be rescued.
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other hunters saw it happen and alerted rescue personnel. man and dog have been reunited and both, we're happy to report, are fine. we want to let you know, tomorrow night here we will bring you the story of the invasive species that have hitched a ride on board a japanese dock that drifted to this country after the tsunami and the danger of what it might have carried over here. we'll have that story for you tomorrow evening. we're back in a moment tonight with our "making a difference" report. bringing back clifford and a lot of other friends that were lost when the floodwaters came rushing in.
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now to our "making a difference" report. last night, the house of representatives approved $50 billion in aid for sandy relief. some folks who have been left without homes and schools haven't been able to wait for government help. they have been the recipients, luckily, of goodearted people who took it upon themselves to step in and help. we've seen more examples of that just this week. nbc's chris jansing reports tonight on story time for children with a happy ending. >> reporter: when sandy hit new jersey, 7-year-old isabella gomez saw her neighborhood battered. her school flooded.
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but this is what she'll tell you about. >> my books, they were sitting down somewhere near the window and then they started to break and break and break. >> reporter: hundreds of books at the olc school and little harbor academy in jersey city ended up floating in floodwaters. a story repeated across new jersey, new york and connecticut. hundreds of thousands of books lost with no guarantee they would be replaced. so children's book publisher, scholastic, stepped in. >> we know there is nothing better to build resilience in difficult times than a great story. >> reporter: scholastic will donate 1 million books to schools and libraries that apply for help online. 400,000 have already been picked up. >> clifford. favorite. >> reporter: so many of the losses from sandy are painfully obvious. homes destroyed. lives displaced. memories lost. other losses are less obvious.
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a sense of security. the familiarity of a classroom. and you probably wouldn't think about the impact on kids of losing books until you see their reaction when they have them again. >> oh, my god. >> oh! >> this is the best day ever. >> reporter: and it's not just the students. >> feels like it's christmas morning for teachers. because it's our dream come true to have so many books. >> reporter: including the princess book for isabella who had lost her own copy of "the princess and the pea." >> now i'm happy, because some of my favorite books are here. >> reporter: after all the wrenching setbacks caused by sandy, a step forward. >> well, tommy, you've done a fine job. >> reporter: with a little help from some literary friends. chris jansing, nbc news, jersey city, new jersey. >> great story to end on for this wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
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right now at 6:00 a mother shaken up as a man tries to run away with her child. >> reporter: i'm marianne favro where a community meeting is about to begin to address gun violence in schools. i'll have that story coming up in a live report. and it is time to hit the ocean. what's in the works for this weekend that hasn't happened in a couple of years. thanks for joining us. i'm diane dwyer. raj is off tonight. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. so how do we keep our kids safe in the aftermath of the sandy hook school shooting, what else needs to be done to protect kids
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in the classroom? tonight that conversation comes to the south bay, and everyone in the bay area is invited to join in. the issue, how to best strengthen school safety. nbc bay area has a call to action, marianne. >> it certainly is, jessica. in just a few minutes about 100 parents are expected to show up here to talk about how they can keep their kids safe when they are at school. the los gat 0 os police chief will be here. after the mass shooting few deny our schools need to be safer. the debate mao is focus on how. in a nation polarized over guns, teachers in texas are showing up in record numbers to take concealed handgun training. >> i think that it's important for me to get prepared in case i ever have to do defend myself. >> reporter: this afternoon more than 100 elementary

NBC Nightly News
NBC January 16, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Faa 7, Chicago 7, France 7, Nbc 5, Mali 5, Boeing 5, U.s. 4, Us 4, Nbc News 3, Chuck Todd 3, Clifford 2, Chris Jansing 2, Mr. Obama 2, John Yang 2, Obama 2, Conrad Bain 2, Robert Bazell 2, New York 2, Washington 2, Jersey City 2
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